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Thursday, 27 October 2016


Georgia’s national security may turn Abkhaz

2011-03-16 20:27

14699.jpegAn active discussion of the national security framework goes on in Georgia. Leader of the Christian-Democratic movement Giorgi Targamadze also decided to make a contribution to this essential document. In his opinion, the framework should "reflect the risks of extinction and assimilation of the Abkhaz ethnos". According to Secretary of the Security Council of Georgia Batu Kutelia, the Abkhaz issue is reflected in the document. However, he promised that the threat of the Abkhaz' assimilation will become one of the items of the national security strategy if the opposition wants it so much.


About seven years ago, a group of Abkhaz documentalists shot a film about modern Georgia. The journalists traveled round the whole country, talking to politicians, common citizens and, of course, refugees from Abkhazia. While shooting one of the episodes, they decided to interview a little girl. She said that the elders often talked about their home and how they would soon return there all together. A seven-year-old child was asked: "And how will you talk to the Abkhaz living there when you return to Abkhazia?" The girl gave a sincere answer: "We won't. When we come back they will have run away". The girl's words reveal the cold truth about the Georgians' attitude to the Abkhaz.

There is no doubt that the Christian Democrats want to ingratiate themselves with the Abkhaz. However, all the "i"s have been dotted in this matter a long time ago: the war drew the Georgian and Abkhaz societies apart. Common Georgians know very well that the Abkhaz are their enemies because they are building a country on the land that the Georgians consider to be their own. And vice versa, the Abkhaz see enemies in the Georgians who claim their lands. Until something changes, no friendship is possible between them.

That's the brutal reality of the conflict. However, this conflict is multi-faceted like everything in the Caucasus. Georgians and Abkhaz want and can communicate at the personal level. They often visit each other, attend each other's weddings and funerals, sitting at one table and exchanging agreeable words. However, they remain on different sides of the conflict. The Abkhaz do not want to live in Georgia and the idea of "bringing back the territories by bringing back people" that once dawned upon Tbilisi has been recognized as Utopian even by the most naïve dreamers.

Georgian care about the Abkhaz' future also looks cynical, for all the threats to its identity within the last century came from the south. The conflict was not made out of thin air and wasn't put up by special services. Georgia has been cherishing the plans of colonizing its neighbours within the entire XX century.

In the second half of XIX century, after Caucasian war, many regions of Abkhazia were abandoned: at least, half of local citizens moved to Turkey. Georgia, which acted on Russia's side during the suppression of the mountain people's resistance, reckoned on certain territorial bonuses. However, Russian authorities took time to settle the Megrels in the abandoned lands. There appeared the settlements of Russian, Ukrainian and Greek migrants. Those Armenians who sought shelter from the Ottoman slaughter were also allowed to settle there... At the end of XIX century, the majority of the settlers were Abkhaz, though the migrant communities continued expanding. There lived only four percent of Georgians there.

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